On Our Cover sara, a member of a Food for the Hungry savings group in Mozambique, holds a newly bought radio close to her heart.
6:8 Winter 2008, Volume 7 6:8 is a quarterly magazine of Food for the Hungry that highlights stories of physical and spiritual development and affirms the role of partners and supporters in making a difference in the lives of the poor around the world. Platimum Award Winner, MarComm Creative Awards Award of Distinction, The Communicator Awards
President Benjamin K. Homan Vice President Matt Panos Sr. Director, Ministry Partners John Frick Executive Editor Greg Forney Managing Editor Rez Gopez-Sindac Senior Graphic Designer Lisa Leff Assistant Writer Dana Ryan Contributing Writers Sheli Cowley Kathleen Flanagan Karen Randau Editorial Resource Heidi Hatch We welcome comments and feedback. E-mail us at: email@example.com Or send them to: Food for the Hungry 6:8 Magazine 1224 E. Washington Street Phoenix, AZ 85034 Phone: 480-998-3100 (Toll free) 800-2-HUNGERS
a food for the hungry staff helps farmers learn new techniques for growing their crops.
Food for the Hungry Vision God called and we responded until physical and spiritual hungers ended worldwide.
Mission To walk with churches, leaders and families in overcoming all forms of human poverty by living in healthy relationship with God and His creation. Motivated by Christ’s love, we achieve our mission using a three-dimensional approach: • Speaking out to all people and nations about God’s call to end physical and spiritual hungers. • Sending people to share God’s love. • Serving the transformation of communities.
Scriptural Basis “What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” – Micah 6:8
Food for the Hungry thanks photographer and advocate Rodney Rascona for providing us with excellent photography. We also thank O’Neil Printing for their support in maintaining graphic industry standards at reduced costs, allowing us to be faithful stewards of God’s gifts and resources. Food for the Hungry is a charter member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA). Copyright 2008 by Food for the Hungry. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any part of this publication without written consent of the publisher is strictly prohibited. a volunteer mother demonstrates to other women in the community how to make a nutritious dish for their children. 2
Volume 7 | Winter 2008
MOZAMBIQUE ON THE VERGE A nation stands on the threshold of transformation. 5 6
Editor’s Letter From the President GOD-ORDAINED GOVERNMENTS Food for the Hungry works with various governmental channels to accomplish good things in the hard places around the world.
10 FH News 16 One at a Time
BATTLING FOR BURUNDI A project has started the ball rolling on securing a sustainable development for one of the world’s poorest countries.
BULLISH ON NICARAGUA’S FUTURE Kim Freidah Brown and her husband, Ken, have been helping the people of Nicaragua gain victory over poverty and trauma.
32 Vision Partners
No time like the present It’s what he does now for God’s kingdom that really matters for ministry partner Bob Dardinger. MAKING THE MOST OF EVERY OPPORTUNITY Fort Worth businessman Bill Harvey seizes the moment to help 3,600 children waiting for sponsors.
36 Ministry Highlights
BRINGing IN THE GOODS Non-monetary gifts, when properly mobilized and distributed in Christ’s name, can bring real transformation to individuals and communities in need. Corrections
In the story “Water Project Improves City’s Public Health” that appeared in the summer 2007 issue of 6:8, we inadvertently referred to Potosi as a city in Belize. It should have been “Potosi, the capital city of the department of Potosi in Bolivia.”
In “About Rwanda” (page 29, fall 2007 issue of 6:8), the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in adults reported in 2006 is 3.1 percent not 50.1 percent as published.
One privilege I share with others who work at Food
for the Hungry is rubbing shoulders with believers who are deeply committed to Christ and serve Him with enthusiasm and passion. There are numerous names to cite, but one that is still fresh in my memory is Julie Hettinger. She just returned from Bolivia after serving for more than three years as a Hunger Corps missionary. Recently, she shared with the rest of the FHUS staff during our Wednesday morning chapel. I was reminded, as I listened to her stories and her deep love for the people in the community of Sucre where she worked, how special our field staff are and how God uses them to accomplish His purposes. Time and time again, we are blessed to hear from country directors, short-term team coordinators, child development workers, and program staff and coordinators (like Julie) who have a strong commitment to see physical and spiritual hungers ended worldwide. Their passion for God’s work rings loudly through their words and their actions. One can easily perceive how entrenched they are in the communities where they work. They are not outsiders, and yet they recognize that they also are not saviors. They are worthy and passionate ambassadors of the Savior, walking humbly alongside the poor to serve them and bring out their God-given potential. They work in some of the hardest and most fragile places in the world – places darkened by poverty, injustice and oppression. And it would be easy to focus on the difficulties, but instead they rejoice in what God is doing and how He is allowing them to be a part of His transforming work. When I think of the unswerving passion of our staff in the field, I remember the apostle Paul and how he was kept in prison for about two years, awaiting trial in Rome. In his letter to Philippi, a church Paul planted on his second missionary journey, Paul does not speak of his injustice, but rejoices: “Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel.” (Philippians 1:12) Later, we
understand the foundation for Paul’s perspective on his earthly circumstances when he declares, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21) As you read this issue of 6:8, you will see a similar perspective from those who serve the poor around the world. You will recognize it in the aspirations and hopes of our dedicated staff in Mozambique. They face significant obstacles, yet they are steadfast and faithful. You will feel it in the sentiments of Kim Brown, our Nicaragua country director, who serves in a country that is historically besieged with one setback after another. And you will see it in Bill Harvey, Bob Dardinger and so many other stateside advocates who have a heart for the poor and brokenhearted around the world. The names, places and stories are all different, but the common thread that runs through them is the passion for the vision to end spiritual and physical poverty around the world. We thank God for calling so many passionate people to be part of His work, and we are careful to remind ourselves and others that it is His work and it is His vision, and that we are called simply to respond. The passion that is so evident in those who lovingly serve the poor is a God-fanned passion. It burns brightly for those who recognize their own need for Him, knowing that apart from Him they can do nothing (John 15:4). Our prayer here at Food for the Hungry is that we would continually humble ourselves before God, recognize our own poverty, and allow Him to stoke the flame in our hearts to serve Him and those He deeply loves.
GREG FORNEY is executive editor of Food for the Hungry’s quarterly magazine, 6:8. He is also Creative Services director at Food for the Hungry’s U.S. headquarters located in Phoenix, AZ. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
from the president
Food for the Hungry works with various governmental channels to accomplish good things in the hard places around the world. By Benjamin K. Homan President and Chief Executive Officer
Why in the world, you may ask, would a Christian ministry like Food for the Hungry seek and accept funds from the United States government and other governments like those in Rwanda and Mozambique? How is it that government-generated resources accomplish purposes pleasing to God? Great questions! First off, let me affirm that, yes, Food for the Hungry is blessed to receive generous support from a spectrum of government and quasi-government agencies. These include entities like the Canadian Food Grains Bank, the government of Rwanda, the health department of Mozambique, the United States Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the InterAmerican Bank (affiliated with the World Bank), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and even the United Nations’ World Food Program. In the past, we’ve also received support from the European Union and from Britain’s Department of Foreign International Development (DFID). The answer to why Food for the Hungry actively pursues government resources to fund programs around the world rests in a deep conviction about the extent of our calling to end physical and spiritual hungers worldwide. The global issues surrounding poverty are deep and pervasive, and we believe that we are called to seek global solutions that address those issues from top to bottom. We also have enormous confidence that biblical solutions apply to problems that exist at every level of reality.
Great good can be accomplished.
As I read the Scriptures, I see example after example of how God raises up His followers to accomplish great good, even in governmental structures. In fact, one of the biggest and most specific examples of large-scale foreign assistance in the history of the world can be found in the book of Genesis, chapters 37-50. Through a series of extraordinary events, Joseph comes to serve as one of the Egyptian government’s chief leaders. From this role, God used him to rescue many nations, including Egypt and his own birth-nation, from a severe famine. Another example in Scripture includes Daniel, who served Babylonia. In his leadership role, he helped secure religious freedom for many people while also giving testimony to God’s strength. Also, Queen Esther’s official role in a royal family protected the lives of Jews and others needing just and righteous leadership. As the history of God’s followers has unfolded in more modern eras, we see officials like William Wilberforce, who championed the anti-slavery movement in England (beautifully told in the movie, “Amazing Grace”). We also observe John Calvin, who served as a mayor in Geneva, and note how a leader who correctly applies God’s principles can accomplish great good through governmental channels. Marshalling the forces and resources of government opens opportunities to multiply the good that is accomplished – and to do so in a way that allows more and more people to reflect on the goodness of the Almighty.
Great respect can be demonstrated.
The apostle Peter in 1 Peter 2:17 writes that we are to “Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.” In Romans 13, the apostle Paul writes, “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.” God in His complete sovereignty has strategically placed governments in power in order that He may make His glory known through them. As Food for the Hungry seeks and receives government funding, whether it is from the United States government or another entity, I see it as an opportunity to affirm what leaders are doing that is good and worthy of respect and honor. When I see my own country devote resources towards the alleviation of hunger and disease, I rejoice at the opportunity to commend their efforts. And when people contribute financially to Food for the Hungry, it is a fabulous way for respect and support to be shown towards governments that have entrusted Food for the Hungry to accomplish good things in the hard places of this world.
God in his complete sovereignty has strategically placed governments in power in order that he may make his glory known through them.
AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTIVITY is one area where great good can be accomplished with government funding.
After the tsunami in Southeast Asia in December 2004, the mayor of my city contacted Food for the Hungry. I sat with him, the vice mayor and one other staff member in his office. “What can the city of Phoenix do to help?” Mayor Phil Gordon asked. In a few short minutes, I proposed a plan and the mayor responded, “We’ll do it.” From that moment on, Food for the Hungry has embarked on a ground-breaking partnership that has led
Great influence can be exerted.
Food for the Hungry’s relationship with governments is not simply about receiving funds; it’s also about Food for the Hungry blessing leaders and those they lead. God has placed us in a unique position of influence where we are able to shape governments as they approach solving problems that exist in communities, including those issues relating to poverty. I have had the honor of being appointed by the President of the United States to the HELP Commission, a bi-partisan congressional commission. Through my service on the HELP Commission ( w w w. H E L P C o m m i s s i o n . gov), I was tasked with assessing how my own nation could improve its efforts to assist those trapped in poverty. Several years ago, I also was privileged to chair USAID’s Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid, a committee that dates to the Truman administration.
it has been a partnership that has beaconed hope... many citizens from Arizona to serve in tsunami-ravaged Indonesia. It has been a partnership that has beaconed hope – and also one that has sought to respect and honor civic officials who desire to do good things for people in need.
These opportunities grant me the platform from which to uphold justice principles on behalf of those who would not necessarily be given a voice. In respecting, shaping and affirming the good behavior of some governments in the world, the Lord has put Food for the Hungry on a path to walk alongside leaders, advising them, and even, at times, confronting them. God,in His majestic and perfect ways,is involving you to impact the governments of the world. If we were to turn our backs on government funding, we would be turning down blessings of impact, respect and influence. It’s a blessing that reaches the poor in the fields we serve – and it is a blessing that touches and shapes the governments with whom we interact as well. Just a few weeks ago, I visited a Food for the Hungry community where our staff members teach rice farmers a more productive and sustainable method of growing rice. While there, I had the opportunity to meet with one of the farmers and hear firsthand what Food for
[ FROM THE PRESIDENT ]
the Hungry is doing to help him. He told me that his field will now produce twice or three times what it has in the past. When he told me this, I couldn’t help but think how this farmer’s family and community has been forever changed because of responders like Food for the Hungry staff, supporters like you, and governments like that of the U.S. With humility, he also asked, “But why are you paying attention to someone as small as me?” And what a great joy it was to share with him how significant he is – and how much God loves him.
Great accountability can be received.
As a recipient organization, engagement with governments automatically opens our organization to scrutiny and review. One of the ways that I encourage our Food for the Hungry supporters is by sharing how extensive and thorough our government donors are with our programs. With their own eyes, they come and review what we do. They kick the tires; they interview the people in the communities in which we serve; they pour through our bookkeeping. They are your eyes and ears – for accountability – making sure that we stay true to our word. And, believe me, they make sure that things are right – you can have confidence in that! Governments hold us accountable for the sake of the public good – and that’s good for all of us.
God’s great mercy and enduring truth.
We believe that the Lord has chosen to use governments as one of the means to help people know who He is and how merciful He is toward those in poverty. Are governments perfect? No. Does an organization like Food for the Hungry need to balance government-funded programs with other priorities? Of course! Do we need other funding sources? Absolutely! And, as we hold all of these issues in tension, we have the joy and privilege of magnifying how the caring heart of God is reflected to people in need. Food for the Hungry engages with governments because we have confidence that as an organization rooted in God’s Word, we have valuable perspectives to offer and that a biblical approach can make all the difference in the shaping of how problems are addressed. We know how untrue it is, for instance, when an African community persecutes and ostracizes a child by calling them a “witch” simply because they were orphaned by parents who died from HIV/AIDS. And we can agree even with a government official, publicly an atheist, when he announces, “Because Food for the Hungry uses Scripture, we think they can help us understand the heart of poverty.” Because of our unflinching commitment to God’s truth, we therefore take courage in going to every kind of hard place – even every kind of government. God’s Word is true and good everywhere. 9
with funding from the united states government, the poor and needy around the world receive agricultural training, medical treatment and care, and provision of clean water and sanitation.
FOOD FOR THE HUNGRY News relief items distributed to cyclone victims in bangladesh
A young Bangladeshi boy stands in front of a temporary shelter.
MASSIVE EARTHQUAKE IN PERU BRINGS OUT BEST IN COMMUNITY “We were able to help communities LIMA, Peru – On August 15, 2007 an
earthquake of magnitude 7.9 hit off the southern coast of Peru and caused the greatest damage in the Ica region, about 90 miles (145 kilometers) south of Peru’s capital city of Lima. Staff members of Food for the Hungry/Peru worked with local churches in three badly hit communities: Salto de la Liza, Nuevo Horizonte/El Porvenir and Keiko Sofia. They helped local leaders organize emergency community kitchens, cooking three meals a day for 10 days and distributing them to 2,000 people. Even after Food for the Hungry staff finished their initial involvement in the emergency food kitchens, community members continued doing the work, getting food donations from other organizations and keeping the kitchens going. The community of Salto de la Liza also took the initiative in starting their own study program for school children, since all the schools were closed due to earthquake damage.
epidemic vs. pandemic
see the resources that God has given them, and it encouraged them to move forward,” says Lauren Woodside, FH/ Peru disaster preparedness and relief coordinator. However, other communities such as Chincha had a hard time organizing themselves and facing their problems. “The need was big,” says FH/Peru staff Richard Regalado, “and the people in the community didn’t know how to do things.” “They needed someone to come and show them the way,” adds Woodside. “They needed to be reminded how to do things. And we got to walk with them.” As the initial response came to a close, Food for the Hungry/Peru proceeded to reassess the situation and focused on meeting other pressing needs. Funding has been requested to start organized activities for children, build latrines, restore water storage capabilities, and build better housing. (Mesha Smith, FH/ Peru communications officer)
An epidemic is an illness that occurs and spreads to many more people than would be statistically expected during a point in time. A pandemic is an epidemic that occurs over a large geographic area, usually worldwide.
On November 15, a powerful cyclone swept across the coastal regions of Bangladesh, damaging houses and crops. Cyclone Sidr affected more than 8 million people, and over 3,000 people perished. More than 1.5 million homes have been damaged. Immediately, Food for the Hungry/Bangladesh sent an assessment team to locate the poorest and most vulnerable communities and identify their needs. Then with pledges from international partners, totaling nearly $150,000, Food for the Hungry distributed basic food packs to more than 3,000 families, benefiting about 15,300 individuals in the coastal areas where the cyclone first hit. Non-food items such as cooking supplies, sanitation and cleaning materials, and small emergency items were also distributed. “Our staff is doing a fantastic job in very tough circumstances,” says John Marsden, Food for the Hungry country director for Bangladesh. “They are hundreds of miles from home sleeping rough on the floor of the warehouse where they pack food for distribution. They’ve been up at dawn to set out by small boat to get to remote locations to reach those most in need. I’m proud of our staff’s dedication and perseverance in very tough situations. I join them in being grateful for the help we’ve received from people in the USA and elsewhere.” When food distribution is completed, the next area of focus is shelter and livelihood rehabilitation. A proposal for this purpose has been submitted to the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) to benefit those who lost their homes to the cyclone. “People continue to live in very, very rough shelters, and there is little sign of resources coming through to address this,” says Marsden. “The cyclone disaster is no longer on the TV screens of the world, but there are still hundreds of thousands of families with no proper shelter. We continue to have an emergency on our hands until we can help these people to put back some sort of adequate shelter. We also need to help people get their livelihoods restarted.”
earthquake in peru • RECOVERY HELP needed IN LATIN AMERICA • disease outbreak in nicaragua
storm hits dominican republic; recovery help needed Tropical storm Noel hit the Dominican Republic late October, bringing heavy and prolonged rain and causing major flooding and mudslides. The storm affected 80 percent of the country, displacing tens of thousands of families and killing scores of people. In communities where Food for the Hungry works, particularly in the regions of La Vega and Santo Domingo, many families have abandoned their homes. Food for the Hungry immediately responded by distributing food and other basic supplies, but more help is needed for the communities’ recovery and development.
A house in the community of El Tamarindo is submerged in floodwaters.
Residents scurry to find a place of safety.
David and Ivania, residents of El Ojoche and members of the health committee, measure the proper dosage of medication.
(above) Flooding and damage caused by Hurricane Felix. (LEFT) Norma Francis and Ken Brown work with hurricane survivors using art therapy to help children process pain and grief.
$2.7M IN RELIEF AID GIVEN TO HELP HURRICANE SURVIVORS RECOVER MANAGUA, Nicaragua – Responding to the immense physical
and spiritual needs created by Hurricane Felix in the North Atlantic Autonomous Region of Nicaragua, Food for the Hungry provided $2.72 million in emergency funds, medicine and counseling services. Hurricane Felix made landfall on September 4, leaving more than 160,000 injured and displaced and 300 people dead. In addition, 80 percent of local infrastructure was destroyed, including schools and hospitals. Widespread flooding destroyed the region’s crops and forest. Food for the Hungry contributed $10,000 to a local partnerorganization, Accion Medica Cristiana (AMC), to provide food and water for the communities of Betania, Wawa Bum, and Bum Sirpi. Included in the relief packets distributed to more than 400 families were drinking water, rice, beans, flour, sugar, cooking oil, and basic cleaning supplies. Since the majority of these families had lost their homes, a portion of donated funds was used to purchase nails, hammers and roofing material. To respond to the medical needs in these communities and the entire region, Food for the Hungry donated $2.7 million worth of medicine to Nicaragua’s Ministry of Health to help mitigate the health effects of the disaster. In addition, within two weeks of the storm, Food for the Hungry sent Ken Brown, a family therapist and pastor, and Norma Francis, a Miskito physician, to provide much needed pastoral, psychological and emotional support to children. “Of all 211 children we met with, the first words out of their mouths were about how scared they were of the wind,” Brown says. “The drawings they created of the traumatic experience showed their fear of death.” Food for the Hungry continues to work with its local partners to meet the physical and spiritual needs of the survivors of Hurricane Felix and to help them rebuild their lives and communities. (Pamela Neumann, FH/Nicaragua communications specialist)
NICARAGUANS RALLY TO STOP DISEASE OUTBREAK
Prolonged rainfall and heavy flooding in Nicaragua’s Pacific region resulted in a leptospirosis outbreak, a rare bacterial infection affecting humans and animals. At least 1,600 people have already been infected, many of whom live in communities where Food for the Hungry serves. The community of El Ojoche reported the highest concentrations of leptospirosis outbreaks. Residents who serve on a local community health committee met with Food for the Hungry staff to address the needs of the region. In response, Food for the Hungry distributed food packets to families and antibiotics to affected individuals. Staff and community members also administered medicine to cows and horses since 60 percent of the animals tested positive of the disease. Posters educating local residents about how to prevent leptospirosis were created and posted by members of the El Ojoche health committee. Leptospirosis causes a wide range of symptoms, including high fever, severe headache, chills, muscle aches, and vomiting. If the disease is not treated, the patient could develop kidney damage, meningitis, liver failure, and respiratory distress. In rare cases death occurs.
WORDS TO LIVE BY “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” - John 8:32
charitable giving • volunteer touches lives • k-love radio contest
new name, same vision
Adopt-a-Community has adopted a new name: C2C, or Community to Community. This partnership program developed by Food for the Hungry connects American churches with impoverished communities around the world. Through prayer, education, shortterm team visits, child sponsorship and constant communication, churches and communities – even though separated by thousands of miles – develop a deep and lasting relationship. The name change reflects the collaborative nature of healthy relationships, where all parties involved learn and receive from each other’s strengths and giftedness. Currently, more than 35 C2C partnerships are working and praying together to address physical and spiritual needs around the world.
the truth about water
• Almost 2 million children die each year for want of a glass of clean water and adequate sanitation. • Millions of women and young girls are forced to spend hours collecting and carrying water, restricting their opportunities and their choices. • Water-borne infectious diseases are holding back poverty reduction and economic growth in some of the world’s poorest countries. * Information from the Human Development Report 2006
FH VOLUNTEER REMEMBERED Food for the Hungry is blessed with many volunteers who freely contribute their time and talent to advance the kingdom of God. Edith Barnes was one such individual. Barnes served as a volunteer for more than 10 years and touched many lives as a result. Working in the Hunger Corps department, she performed administrative tasks and Edith Barnes is surrounded by Scott also wrote letters to Food for the Allen’s wife, Kim, and children Kaila, Hungry missionaries on the field. Many Jenna, Luke and Isaac. individuals said her letters were a source of encouragement to them as they served overseas. When Scott Allen, director of operations for Disciple Nations Alliance (a partner of Food for the Hungry), began working at Food for the Hungry in 1990, he met Barnes, and has kept in touch with her ever since. “She had such a heart for the Lord,” says Allen, “and she had a great sense of humor.” On September 23, 2007, Edith Barnes celebrated her 95th birthday with friends and family at Bethany Bible Church. Barnes passed away in January.
is giving dangerous?
How can we practice charitable giving without creating dependency? This is a question that Dr. John Rowell answers in his book To Give or Not to Give: Rethinking Dependency, Restoring Generosity, and Redefining Sustainability (2007). Rowell is president of Ministry Resource Network, a church-based missions organization. He is also a church planter, a pastor, and he serves on the board of directors at Food for the Hungry. In his book, Rowell challenges the argument that Western charity creates an unhealthy dependency among those on the receiving end of support. He then shows the readers how to be more discerning with their giving and more biblically generous at the same time. “In a world where 3 billion people survive on less than $2 a day and nearly that many are still unreached, we simply cannot ignore the Bible’s call for generous giving,” he says. Rowell has written an article that talks about the tension between encouraging generosity and discouraging dependency, which was published in Christianity Today. Send an e-mail to email@example.com if you are interested in the article.
water catchment project underway in chad The Goz Beida region in eastern Chad is home to more than 38,000 internally displaced people (IDP) who have moved into the area to escape the fighting in Sudan. In six communities, Food for the Hungry is providing short-term employment to IDPs who are constructing 10 water catchment systems to collect rainwater. The program provides immediate resources to meet basic needs while creating a source of irrigation during the dry season.
Water pans like this are being constructed to collect rainwater in the Goz Beida region in eastern Chad.
FOOD FOR THE HUNGRY News congress asked for food and drug funding
Kathy McGinnis (left) and her daughter, Sarah Godsil, takea short break after visiting a community in Uganda.
k-love radio contest fulfills dream for new jersey mom Kathy McGinnis, a sales associate for a mortgage company in Berlin, N.J., had always wanted to go to Africa to see what God was doing there. A contest on her local K-LOVE radio station became her ticket to that dream. McGinnis listened to the radio all week for the clues to the “Where in the Kingdom” contest. Then, when the phone lines opened up for contestants to call with answers, she got on the phone and, moments later, was announced the winner. Her prize: a trip for two to see Food for the Hungry’s work in Uganda, plus a three-day safari in Kenya. McGinnis chose her 16-year-old daughter, Sarah Godsil, to accompany her on the trip. In October 2007, they traveled with Food for the Hungry staff to several Ugandan communities and saw firsthand many exciting developments that God is doing through Food for the Hungry. For example, in a community with nearly 350 sponsored children, parents have built classrooms for their children and provided living quarters for teachers so they don’t have to make the long walk to school. In Kitgum, a place wrecked by decades of a stillactive brutal war, McGinnis saw more evidence of how God takes care of the poor and hurting. “I found the citizens of Uganda to be very warm, welcoming and anxious to share with us the marvelous things God has been doing in their lives. The laborers were hard at work, and the Scriptures
were being lived out in some of the worst places you can imagine,” McGinnis said. These “worst places” are the internally displaced persons (IDP) camps: government-imposed settlements that are meant to be temporary, but often people end up living here for several years. There is little or no infrastructure like electricity, schools, health services or law enforcement aside from the military. One’s regular diet might consist mainly of millet, sorghum and nuts. Disease is rampant in these unkempt camps. Yet more than 60 dedicated Food for the Hungry staff come to these camps daily to bring God’s love and care to broken, hurting people. McGinnis also visited the New Life Center in Kitgum, where women who were abused and tortured by rebel soldiers during the war, receive Christian counseling, basic education, medical care and skills training. The Ugandan trip expanded McGinnis’ awareness of other people’s stories of hope and redemption. Inspired by this newfound understanding, she looks forward to becoming an advocate for these women and to explore ways to get her church involved in God’s work in other parts of the world. “To say that the trip was life-changing would be an understatement,” McGinnis said. (Mary Euler, communications coordinator, Artist Program, Food for the Hungry)
On behalf of the Alliance for Food Aid, a network of private organizations that operate humanitarian and development programs, Food for the Hungry Vice President Dave Evans testified before a congressional subcommittee on funding for U.S. food aid programs. Evans thanked Congress for its “unrelenting support of food aid over the years.” However, he expressed concern that the approved $1.2 billion funding for food assistance is not sufficient to meet the minimum food aid requirements in 2008 due to escalating commodity prices. The Alliance estimated that $400,000 more is needed to adequately help the poor and hungry. Evans then asked the support of Congress for $1.6 billion for Title II food aid for development programs. “Providing adequate funding at the beginning of the fiscal year, as part of the regular appropriations process, would allow orderly program planning and more efficient delivery of commodities throughout the year, without program disruptions,” Evans argued. For updates on Food for the Hungry’s relief efforts, visit www. fh.org/relief_blog.
FOOD FOR THE HUNGRY News key fh supporters receive president’s award
Last year, at the third annual “Golf Fore the Hungry” tournament in Lexington, Ky., Food for the Hungry President and CEO Benjamin Homan gave the President’s Award to Ron Camblin and Chuck Madinger, two men instrumental in making the golf event a success. Golf Fore the Hungry is a two-day fundraiser aimed at raising awareness about hunger while providing individuals, businesses and churches with an outlet to work together and make a difference in the lives of the poor. Madinger, co-founder and executive vice president of T4 Global, had the vision for the golf tournament and is a strong supporter and advocate of Food for the Hungry. Camblin, pastor of Southside Christian Church in Orlando, Fla., took ownership of the event and served as one of the main organizers of the tournament, which was hosted by Northeast Christian Church in Lexington, where he formerly served as pastor.
help commission releases report on foreign aid
“Our foreign assistance system is broken.” Members of the HELP Commission (Helping to Enhance the Livelihood of People around the Globe Commission) disclosed this finding in a report released on December 10 at the Brookings Institution, one of the most prominent think tanks in the United States. Also included in the report are bold recommendations that called for vast and significant change in U.S. foreign assistance. According to the report, members of the Commission strongly believe “that our nation must enact sweeping policy and institutional changes to equip our country to meet the challenges of the day with a foreign aid system that works at home and abroad.” Food for the Hungry President and Chief Executive Officer Benjamin K. Homan is one of 20 HELP commissioners appointed by President George W. Bush and congressional leaders to study the current foreign aid system and make proposals that will ensure its effectiveness. “The Commission’s job may have involved politics, but the focus was to make a tangible difference in the lives of children and families at
risk around the world,” said Homan. During the official release of the Commission’s report, Homan presented his analysis on the future role of public-private partnerships and nongovernmental organizations in foreign assistance. He talked about the vital role of publicprivate partnerships, such as the crucial impact of faith-based organizations.“As the sole representative of the faith-based organization community among the 20 commission members, I was heartened to see the recognition and support of the work of Food for the Hungry and other like-minded groups,” he said. Homan added that there also is a need to have an outside-the-box understanding of foreign assistance, “to think about job creation, stimulating local economies, providing the ability for growth and economic expansion in the fields.” “If the recommendations of the HELP Commission are implemented, we will see important progress made in the understanding and support of Americans towards work among the poor around the world -- and there will be heightened accountability for the steps we have taken,” Homan explained.
The HELP Commission recommended the following actions:
For more information on the annual Golf Fore The Hungry event, go to www. golfforethehungry.org
• Rewrite the Foreign Assistance Act (FAA) to reflect new development goals and programs. • Do more to help developing countries build vibrant private sectors. • Create a new business model and engage new nongovernmental partners. • Align America’s trade and development policies.
• Strengthen the management capacity of our nation’s assistance agencies. • Reorganize all U.S. international affairs functions. • Determine funding from the bottom up, based on the needs and commitment of developing countries and on the national and security interests of the United States.
help commission report • global hiv/aids funding • MAKING ALL THINGS NEW CONFERENCE
conference exposes lies, reaffirms truth At the second annual Making All Things New conference, attendees were challenged to explore the lies that enslave people and the truth that frees them from those chains. Held at the Phoenix Convention Center from October 25-27, the conference was organized by Food for the Hungry and brought together church leaders, student ministry leaders and university students. Key speakers stressed the necessity of engaging both hearts and minds with the truth to bring about personal and global transformation. Amy Orr-Ewing, training director with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries Zacharias Trust, pointed to Colossians 2:8 where the Apostle Paul counsels the Colossians to “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” Ewing exposed the lies that affect Christians and encouraged listeners to see that “the Bible gives serious engagement with the human condition” and that “we need to take the love, justice and mercy of Jesus to the lost.” After listening to Ewing, Kimberly Schenk, an undergraduate student at
College students bring their hearts to God in prayer for a broken world.
Grand Canyon University, said she gained a “different view that will impact my ministry with children.” Human poverty was discussed by Vishal Mangalwadi, an author and social reformer from India. He said that the most exciting truth about poverty is that the poor can be blessed if they choose to believe. “There is hope,” he said, “because He is making all things new,” and while “the kingdoms of this world have brought poverty…Christ is bringing a new kingdom.” Mangalwadi uncovered the lies in different belief systems and showed how such lies trap people in poverty. “I really enjoy learning about Christianity in relation to other religions of the world,” said Nicole Helenius, a nursing student at Grand Canyon University. Helenius was fascinated by the examination of various religions because it gave her a glimpse of how differently they view the world and issues of faith. The conference reinforced the truth that when Christians are fully engaged, when they fully embrace the truths of God’s word, they confront the darkness of the world with the light of Jesus and help make all things new.
Vishal Mangalwadi gives a message of hope for the poor.
Amy Orr-Ewing challenges Christians to bring God’s truth into the public square.
FAITH-BASED GROUPS, OTHER SECTORS asked TO SUPPORT HIV/AIDS FUND EXTENSION
In October last year, Food for the Hungry Vice President Dave Evans and other representatives of faith-based organizations and the government and private sectors attended a meeting at the U.S. Capitol with Sen. Richard Lugar and U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Mark Dybul. Sen. Lugar made a case for the early reauthorization of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and stated his intention to start dialog in the Senate for the initiative’s funding renewal. The five-year, $15-billion commitment made in 2003 expires in September 2008. On May 30, 2007, President George W. Bush made a proposal to Congress to approve an additional five-year, $30-billion funding for HIV/ AIDS prevention, care and treatment. Stressing that Americans are providing crucial support in the fight against the global AIDS pandemic, Sen. Lugar urged the meeting participants to work with other members of the Senate to make sure the PEPFAR reauthorization gets the necessary floor time.
Cambodian children create crafts using construction paper.
Short-term Team visits former khmer rouge stronghold
Known as one of the final strongholds for the Khmer Rouge, Anlong Veng in northern Cambodia, near the border of Thailand, has seen tremendous change in recent years. While new roads and schools have addressed the need for physical infrastructure, Food for the Hungry is working to minister to the spiritual needs of the people in the region. In conjunction with Food for the Hungry’s long-term initiatives in the area, Anlong Veng recently received its first Food for the Hungry short-term team. With team members coming from around the United States and ranging in age from 24 to 77, this team brought a wealth of diversity as they ministered to the community through children’s programs and creative art activities. For information on how you can participate in a short-term team with Food for the Hungry, please visit www.fh.org/teams.
the faces of hiv/aids
Globally, approximately 50 percent of all HIVpositive people are female.
By 2010, it is estimated that there will be 25 million AIDS orphans in the world. Source: The Skeptic’s Guide to the Global AIDS Crisis
one at a time
16 WINTER 2008
Driving south on the dirt road from Rwanda into Burundi, the landscape doesn’t change much but the poverty takes
a turn for the worse. Having just emerged from a fiveyear drought and a 13-year civil war, the most obvious
physical change is its dryness. So dry that with each passing truck, the clay on the road swirls
into giant dust clouds. The dust clings to the
trees lining the road, creating a dramatic
sepia-like photo effect. People, most of whom are skinny or emaciated, outnumber vehicles on the road by 200 to 1. Drought has reduced the harvest, bringing hunger to most Burundians and causing thousands to suffer or die from malnutrition. The torn and dirty clothes of many children, revealing bony shoulders and bloated stomachs, attest to the country’s widespread food shortage. To add to the food insecurity of the region, a virus is decimating the main crop, cassava. Burundians live in homes made of mud and grass. Clean water is scarce and almost always involves traveling great distances to obtain. Electricity is infrequent in many areas and nonexistent in most. Many faces still display the traumatic memories of war, and the presence of armed soldiers and police serve as visible reminders of a fragile peace. Burundi is a hard place, a place where people regularly die of hunger. It’s the kind of place where Food for the Hungry is often among the first to venture. Partnering with the Baptist Church and Catholic Relief Services, Food for the Hungry has implemented two food security programs in Burundi’s northern Kirundo province. The food and seeds initiative targets the most vulnerable or needy families within the community. It helps them improve the productivity of their land so they can better feed – julian nsengiyumva project supervisor their families. Julian Nsengiyumva, Food for the Hungry’s project supervisor, oversees the project. “Providing seeds for planting will increase the food supply and create a long-term sustainable benefit for these families,” he explains. “But experience has shown us that if you give seeds to hungry people, they don’t plant them. They eat them. Our program ensures that the seeds get planted by providing food for the families for the three months they will need to wait for the first harvest.” With the help of local leaders, families were chosen to participate in the program. They were chosen based on extreme need and land ownership. Selected families received food during planting season and for some, it was the difference between life and death.
“providing seeds for planting will increase the food supply and create a long-term sustainable benefit for these families.”
WINTER 2008 2008 17 17 WINTER
Sinanxwa Daphroso is married, with five children between the ages of 2 and 17. Last year, the children often went hungry, but this year, after receiving bean and sorghum seeds, the family’s harvest improved. “We eat two times a day now,” Daphroso says. Both meals are the same – beans and bread. Daphroso mills the sorghum into flour using ABOVE: Families receive bean and sorghum seeds. LEFT: Sinanxwa Daphroso pounds sorghum grains into flour.
18 WINTER 2008
a stick of wood to pound the grains. It is time-consuming and requires a lot of muscle, but she doesn’t complain. She is grateful to have the sorghum and considers the food and seeds initiative an answer to her prayers. “Many times I have asked God to feed me,” she says, “I thank Him for this program.” The food blesses their bodies, but also provides a way for Daphroso to protect her children’s moral character. She now worries less that they will steal to eat. “I tell my children that we don’t have big land. Our harvest is small, but they must be honest and not become thieves. They must try to survive on what we have.” She further tells her children: “If you steal food you might go to prison. We
[ ONE AT A TIME ]
counting on the hardy caSsava
“MANY TIMES I HAVE ASKED GOD TO FEED ME,” SHE SAYS, “I THANK HIM FOR THIS PROGRAM.”
In Burundi, cassava is under attack by the xanthomones virus. Plants infected by the virus turn yellow and stop producing. The effect on the local population, which depends on cassava as one of its primary food sources, has been devastating. To address this situation, Food for the Hungry partnered with local community associations and provided diseaseresistant cassava plants to five groups. Each association consists of about 60 people who commit to clear a four- to six-acre field of unproductive plants and replant the diseaseresistant strain. It takes two years for a cassava plant to produce fruit, so the benefits to the food supply will take some time. Cuttings, however, can be collected at each harvest and used to start new cassava plants. The associations chosen for the program have agreed to donate all their first years’ cuttings to others so that the disease-resistant cassava can multiply quickly throughout the region. The recipients of the first plantings will commit to do the same with their first growth. This type of cooperation is a model for peace as well as planting, remarks Food for the Hungry’s Emmanuel Kabera, agriculture and environment specialist. He estimates that within the first year of the program, 40 acres of diseaseresistant cassava will be planted; within three years that number will increase to 150 acres. Nearby, Pastor Ntakizanana Etienne of the Nyakarama Baptist Church meets with Food for the Hungry staff to assess the status of Food for the Hungry’s cassava program. Four out of the five cassava fields is flourishing. The plants display healthy, dark green foliage. One field, however, stands out with noticeably sparser and smaller plants. “They didn’t use fertilizer,” says Etienne. Coming into a new country to help its people improve their way of living can be a difficult process for organizations like Food for the Hungry. It takes time to learn how to work with the government, to gain the trust of local communities, and to convince people to invest in new farming methods. Fertilizer is scarce, so it is not surprising that one of the associations chose to conserve theirs until they had some certainty that the project would succeed. “These are good people, economically poor but socially good,” Etienne says. “The problem we have is hunger. People pray for their hunger to be satisfied. They pray for peace…for health. They expect God to bring them these things.”
– SINANXWA DAPHROSO Program BENEFICIARY
would have no way to help you. When we have a lot you must thank God; when we have a little, you must thank God.” Daphroso believes that eating two meals a day will help her children follow her advice to live with integrity. The food and seeds project has provided Daphroso a way to meet her family’s physical needs. But more than having more food, she thanks God for giving her family peace and hope. Amid a bleak landscape, they look forward to a productive future lived with integrity and gratitude to God. 9
Food for the Hungry staff members assess the health of a cassava field.
WINTER 2008 19
“We’re here to be bearers of hope,” says country director Kim Freidah Brown. She and her husband, Ken, have been helping the people of Nicaragua gain victory over poverty and trauma. By Karen Randau
Taking up the guitar in 6th
grade was a defining moment for Food for the Hungry/Nicaragua Country Director Kim Freidah Brown. It led her to announce to her family that she would find a guitar-playing Presbyterian minister to marry. At age 23, her heart’s desire was granted when she married Ken. Unconventional living became the norm for this music-loving couple, and God used their adventurous yet sensitive spirits to pave a path toward loving the people of Nicaragua. They knew they wanted to be missionaries from the beginning but needed to take a few detours on the way there. The couple adopted two children (Krista and Lucas), Kim earned a doctoral degree in psychology (Ken already had a doctorate in ministry), and they gained valuable cross-cultural missionary experience among the Hispanic populations of New Mexico and Arizona. “In New Mexico, we lived and worked in a community of 700 people, and only five were Anglos,” Kim said with a laugh. “So even though we didn’t leave the U.S.A., we really left our home culture.” The community was predominantly Catholic where Ken pastored two
20 WINTER 2008
Presbyterian churches that understood the idea of ministering to the whole person. “Our church had been there for 100 years,” said Kim. “During the five years we worked there, that church gave us a vision for holistic ministry. The denomination had opened the area’s first schools and clinics, together with these churches in the 1870s.”
Responding to God’s Call
Studying Spanish in school, combined with being a high school exchange student in Ecuador gave Kim a background in Spanish. “But I really learned to speak Spanish while in New Mexico because I worked as a counselor in schools where many of the parents and grandparents spoke no English,” she said. In Arizona, the Browns were leaders in a church that served Central American refugees – especially Salvadorans and Guatemalans – who sought refuge in American churches after escaping wars in their own countries. “When I listened to their stories, I began to understand their suffering and the horrors and atrocities they had fled,” recalled Kim. That’s when it became clear to her and her husband that they were called to work with Latinos.
Before the Presbyterian Church sent the missionary family to Nicaragua, they were commissioned to serve a Mexican border ministry while living on the Texas side. That’s how their oldest child discovered the concept of citizenship. “We joked about Krista learning to say ‘U.S. citizen’ at age 3,” laughed Kim. “We worked with two small mission churches in Mexico, along with a health clinic, a women’s economic development program, and a health promotion program. We also had a children’s evangelism program on the U.S. side. We crossed the border daily.”
KIM FREIDAH BROWN (right) has served in Nicaragua as country director since August 2002. Visiting with community members gives her great joy.
In 1995, Ken was offered an opportunity to teach at the seminary in Managua, Nicaragua, where the family moved to when Lucas was 11 months old and Krista had just turned 6. Before long, they knew they had finally found home.
Connecting With Hurricane Victims
When Hurricane Mitch devastated Central America in 1998, Kim and Ken were there to counsel people through the trauma.
“The rain is what did the damage,” recalled Kim. “It wasn’t the wind. You think of volcanoes erupting and causing devastation, but the Casitas Volcano had a mudslide because of the rain. Ken and I connected with people who lost over 100 members of their family in one day. We went up on that volcano and saw all kinds of disconnected body parts – the stench was horrible.” Working with Nicaraguan mental health colleagues, the Browns pioneered techniques for helping victims through and beyond the trauma. A
sad characteristic of relief work is that many organizations that rush in to help leave once the funding dries up. When the Brown family returned to the U.S. in 2000 for a year-long furlough, their institution could not send them back. The furlough stretched into two years. “We had grown to really love the people we worked with in Nicaragua, and there wasn’t any way we were going to walk away from them,” said Kim. “We couldn’t say ‘they’re fine now’ because they weren’t – and many still aren’t.They have post-traumatic stress disorder, and
Ken Brown (left) works diligently to help traumatized children heal and recover. BELOW: Kim looks at embroidered aprons made by members of NicaMade, a livelihood program that helps families earn extra income.
they’re really struggling.We went back to visit a few times during the next couple of years. We wanted them to know we loved them and wanted to help them.” The Browns learned through a friend that the FH/Nicaragua country director was leaving in 2002, so they contacted him and Food for the Hungry to investigate taking his place. “We were impressed when we visited the Nehemiah Center here in Nicaragua,” said Kim, who became FH/Nicaragua country director in August 2002. They happily returned home to Nicaragua, and Ken has faithfully continued the counseling work they began after Hurricane Mitch. Kim has focused more on leading FH staff and helping implement servant leadership philosophies through the Nehemiah Center. The Nehemiah Center is a collaboration of like-minded international organizations that work
22 WINTER WINTER 2008 2008 22
together to bring about restoration to Nicaragua. “We’ve seen many miraculous transformation in these people’s lives,” she said. “They have come to realize that they are a rich, not a poor nation. One thing I really appreciate within
the Nehemiah Center is how North Americans and Central Americans work together. There are no traditional Indian chiefs; we are a community who serves and learns from each other. We earnestly seek to serve, not to be served. The foundation of a biblical worldview makes
– kim freidah brown fh country director in nicaragua
[ FRONTLINERS ]
a huge difference.” She described her and Ken’s progress in Nicaragua as a dance – two steps forward and one step back. “I guess that happens because we’re people-centered, not project-centered,” she said. “Human beings are kind of messy. We all have faults. We all fall short.Yet God doesn’t give up on us. And we can’t give up on each other. We listen to people’s stories, and we challenge them.We let them know that we love them and that relationships are what matter. We tell them that God’s plan is abundant life for all, not just for a few, and that none of us can do it alone. We need each other.” A new trauma hit the people of Nicaragua in 2007 in the form of Hurricane Felix. Ken and Kim heard on the radio that the worst devastation occurred in the fishing villages northwest of Puerto Cabezas. As soon as they could, Ken and a physician rushed to the affected areas to help. “Those communities were very severely hit,” said Ken. “The thick forest was completely flattened. You couldn’t even walk in between the trees for the first four weeks. That left the communities isolated because they couldn’t leave and no one could get into them with food, water and other services.”
Helping Traumatized Children
“We worked with children who had run for their lives when water flooded over them,” recalled Ken.“They were trying to seek safety in the mud – just crawling around in the mud trying to find a place to be safe. Because of the chaos, community leaders were so overwhelmed that they missed the needs of traumatized children, especially orphans. There are now more than 600 orphans in those
communities alone because of the hurricane. So that was my priority.” Since children often have trouble expressing themselves in words, Ken had them draw pictures. “We got some tremendous drawings,” he said. They drew houses being destroyed, churches falling down, trees being blown over, animals dying. “The grief from both hurricanes is tremendous. We’re helping the people – both children and adults – through the grief and fear.” The Browns are committed to helping Nicaraguans live with dignity and appreciation for one another and God. They focus their energy and creativity on that goal. “We have some heated sessions as we work out strategic plans and results-based management. But it really helps to agree on the long-term impacts and how a transformed Nicaragua will look and then work backwards to what actions we can take to move us in that direction. Sometimes we Americans expect things to change quicker than they do, and the Nicaraguans remind us that it takes more time. Time and time again, we are reminded that it is God that brings transformation. He is in control, and not us. Christ is reconciling all things.” Kim and Ken have been reflecting a lot lately about God’s call on their lives. “We’re called to be bearers of hope,” said Kim. “It’s easy to be discouraged in a place like Nicaragua. People of God have to demonstrate how to live in hope – that it is an attitude.We’re not going to be taken off the track on which God placed us. He has big plans for all of us. That hope and the new life we have in Christ is what transforms our interactions within our families, within our communities, in our schools, in our nation, and our relationships.” 9
WINTER 2008 23
24 WINTER 2008
through the savings program, women like Isabel and Sarah realize that they can make positive changes in their lives.
A nation made desolate by centuries of colonial rule, years of civil war, and deep-rooted spiritual oppression stands on the threshold of a big transformation. And Food for the Hungry is determined to help the country’s poor make the leap. By Rez Gopez-Sindac
It is almost midday in this far-flung village of Tambarare, although you can’t tell by looking at the overcast sky. The wind blows rather boisterously, sending clouds of dust swirling up in the air and into your hair and eyes. But the curious crowd that gathers under the sprawling shade of a burly mango tree ignores the mild discomfort. They fix their gaze on a group of farmers who are about to demonstrate how they save money, take loans, and contribute to their social fund. The reenactment begins with the group’s president opening the activity with a prayer in the Sena dialect. Nearby, the other officers sit at a table and watch every part of the proceeding. At the center of the “stage” lies a reed mat. On the mat are three tin plates. With everything in place, the treasurer brings in a wooden cash box and puts it on the mat. The cash box has two locks, and two farmers who act as money counters open the box. Inside the box are three money bags – one bag contains the group’s savings, the other bag holds the interest and paid fees, and the last bag is for the social fund. The money counters open each bag to count the bills and coins and verify that the total for each bag matches what they had recorded during the previous meeting. And while all these activities are going on, the women in the community burst into jovial singing. Finally, the counting ends. The treasurer announces that members can now make their deposits.With a loud voice, he calls each member out by their individual number that corresponds with their “passbook.” When a number is called, the member walks toward the reed mat and drops bills or coins on any or all of the three tin plates representing
A savings group officer counts the deposits and fees at the start of the meeeting.
savings, interest, and social fund. Each member gives a preset amount to the social fund first and then puts away whatever amount they can afford for savings. After every member has been called, the treasurer announces that it’s now time to take care of other business. If someone wants to take out a loan, they go through a similar process. If someone wants to pay a loan, there is a process for that as well. At the end of the meeting, money counters tally all the contributions and meticulously record every transaction. The group’s secretary then reads the final count for the week: “2,700 meticals in savings!” “1,500 meticals in social fund!” “1,454 meticals in interest!” Following the announcement, the crowd erupts in loud songs, applause and dance.
WINTER 2008 25
Stefan Kern, a former Hunger Corps staff with Food for the Hungry, helped train and equip church leaders to effectively address the physical and spiritual needs in their communities.
Promoting Positive Change
If you’re accustomed to high-tech banking, this group’s unsophisticated system may appear tedious and cumbersome. And yet, there is no denying the excitement and energy that fills the hearts of everyone in the community – from the young girl who carries an infant sibling on her back to the village chief who always has a ready smile on his face. And it is easy to see why: this new savings program brings with it the potential to turn things around for many poor people in Mozambique. You see, there is not a single bank in Tambarare. Nor in any of the immediate surrounding towns in the province of Sofala, Mozambique, where Food for the Hungry has been serving since 1988. If people want to put away money for a rainy day, they do so at their own risk. One farmer shares with embarrassment how he used to tuck his folded cash in the straw on his thatched roof – only to be eaten by rats! If people want to start a small business or repair their run-down houses, they wait until the next harvest, which often does not yield enough produce or income. And when a medical emergency strikes, which happens
Food for the Hungry has been working in the Sofala province of Mozambique for the past 20 years, helping children, families, and communities overcome physical and spiritual poverty.
26 WINTER WINTER 2008 2008 26
quite frequently, many families just abandon themselves to the mercy of their dead ancestors’ spirits. But thanks to some innovative Food for the Hungry initiatives and a good number of strong sustainable programs, a better life dawns more brightly for many villagers in Mozambique. The community savings effort, implemented under the agriculture program of Food for the Hungry, was recently launched in 65 communities in four districts in Sofala, namely Caia, Gorongosa, Marromeu, and Nhamatanda. Although still in a pioneering stage, the savings groups have already bailed individuals out of their financial troubles and inspired many families to
[ MOZAMBIQUE ON THE VERGE ]
dream again and look to their future with hope. Laura Hunter, who is based in Gorongosa as a long-term field staff with Food for the Hungry and who directly works with the pastors who are involved in some of the savings groups, shares many stories of small and big victories. In a town called Tsiquir, a savings group collected 52,000 meticals (roughly
Sara bought a table, four chairs, and a radio. Isabel purchased materials to repair her house. And yes, she bought a radio too. Good news travels fast in these communities. And so just over the last few months, Hunter has been deluged with requests from other communities to start new savings groups. “This project is getting bigger, and the problem is we’ve reached our limits,” says Hunter. And there is still so much more to learn, she adds. “This year, we’re just trying to get people to understand the basics. And once they learn the process, it will be easier to add new groups and talk to them about business development and stewardship.” Admittedly, there is a big need for new funding from private donors to be able to respond to this challenge and bring the program to the next level.
and the next generations. The women in Jasse, for example, brim with gratitude for how Food for the Hungry has empowered them to make positive changes in their lives. “I was not having any success saving on my own before; it was just very difficult to do,” says one of the women through an interpreter. Back in Tambarare, farmers learn discipline and accountability through their savings group. If they come to the meeting late, they pay a fine. If they come drunk or cause trouble, they are shown the door. If the officers don’t do their jobs, they get fired. Because of the social fund, community members also have a greater capability to help others in distress. One farmer, for
$2,000) in savings and interest. It is the biggest payoff so far, Hunter says, and the members are understandably overwhelmed with joy. “The pastor, who is also the president of the group, came running to me and he wanted to show me the TV and the DVD that he bought from his share of the distribution,” Hunter shares. In the community of Jasse, however, members of an all-women savings group tried to be more practical. Zaida bought land and built a house to be rented out.
Building a Solid Foundation
example, needed a significant amount of money to take his pregnant wife, who was having much difficulty giving birth, to the district’s hospital. With lots of prayers and a loan from the social fund, his wife received urgent medical attention and safely delivered a healthy baby. “It used to be that our feet were planted in thin air,” comments another farmer through an interpreter. “But now, with the help of Food for the Hungry, we have a more solid structure and, of course, hope.”
While people in the communities are getting excited about the practical benefits of joining a savings group, they also are finding that there is more to saving money than the promise of affording small luxuries. For the first time in their lives, many have realized that they have been blessed by a loving God with the capacity to rise above their circumstances and build a stronger economic, social and spiritual foundation for their children
WINTER 2008 27
Laura Hunter, a Hunger Corps staff with Food for the Hungry, serves in the district of Gorongosa where she helps farmers, women and community members start their own savings groups.
Understanding Culture and History
While some significant changes are happening in communities where Food for the Hungry works, Hunter admits that many people in those communities have yet to acknowledge the real root of their poverty and fully embrace God’s way to freedom. Understanding Mozambique’s history offers some perspective on the character of the country and its people. Mozambique was colonized by Portugal for almost 500 years. In 1964, activists opposed to Portuguese rule started a guerrilla war, which ended in 1975 when Mozambique gained independence. The Portuguese government pulled out of the country, leaving war-weary Mozambicans with overwhelming domestic problems. With no political system and the economy in freefall, anarchy broke out and Mozambique fell into a bloody civil war that lasted for 16 years. Finally in 1994, the country attained democracy; however, cycles of drought and massive floodings periodically bombard the country, further threatening its fragile economy. Spiritually, Mozambicans, especially those in the rural areas, hold strong beliefs that the spirits of dead ancestors influence daily life. Hunter tells the story of a savings group member who saved about 11,000 meticals (approximately $450), the biggest amount saved so far by an individual. The member had told everyone in the group that he would build a house with the money, but when it came time to do it, he got very scared. Hunter says the reason for this was because the farmer believed that the spirits would be mad at him or that members of the community would put a curse on him because of envy.
28 WINTER 2008
In addition to the belief in ancestral spirits, villagers also consider natural resources such as mountains, land and rivers as sacred and having spiritual influence over them. Traditional and “spiritual” healers in the villages are sought after and believed to possess powers to treat medical problems.
Uniting Church Leaders
Against this backdrop, it is easy to see that God’s call to Food for the Hungry to walk with Mozambican communities toward true freedom and transformation is real and demands a longterm commitment. Hunter says she’s up for the challenge, adding that she is very grateful for the support and commitment of a small group of local pastors who caught God’s vision of transformation and are passionate to bring God’s message of hope to the communities. “These pastors have been the biggest encouragement for me. I don’t know what I would do without their help,” says Hunter. The pastors, Hunter explains, bring spiritual shepherding to the groups, teaching members biblical worldview, praying with them, and helping them grow in their walk with God. Some of these pastors participated in the church strengthening program of Food for the Hungry when it was launched in 2001. Pastor Tomas Zefanias, a Mozambican who trained in a Bible school in Portugal, pioneered this program. When the program started, Pastor Tomas says many pastors in the districts did not get along well with one another because of their denominational differences. He adds that many also did
[ MOZAMBIQUE ON THE VERGE ]
not have sufficient understanding of various doctrinal issues and they lacked the biblical knowledge necessary to lead their members to spiritual maturity. “In their church they would often mix biblical truths with indigenous beliefs,” Pastor Tomas says. “For example, people would come to church on Sunday, but they would consult the witchdoctors when they got sick.” And the pastors, he adds, struggled to differentiate between the old ways and the way of truth. For three years, Pastor Tomas worked hard to educate the pastors through periodic seminars and by providing them with good teaching materials. Over the course of time, many of the pastors became mentors to others, passing on what they learned to potential ministry leaders. “He [Pastor Tomas] came here and brought all the churches together. So now you see that represented here are folks from many different denominations,” says a pastor through an interpreter. “Our churches have definitely been strengthened,” adds another pastor.
Equipping Pastors and Churches
To further advance the impact of the church strengthening program in the communities in Mozambique, a new initiative under the leadership of Pastor Tomas is underway. Stefan Kern, a former Hunger Corps staff with Food for the Hungry, helped lay the groundwork for developing the strategies for this project
community of Mucodza. It was in Mucodza, during the civil war, where guerillas trained to fight. To this day, people still believe that the spirits of the dead soldiers reside in this mountain. Witchcraft is still very much alive in Gorongosa; in fact, it is considered one of the strongest areas of witchcraft practice in Mozambique. That’s why Food for the Hungry believes that the active participation of churches is crucial if real transformation in communities like Mucodza is to take place. By equipping pastors in their role as spiritual leaders, it sets their worldview in a position to adequately address the needs in their communities. International churches will play a big role in the A242 project. Typically, through the teams ministry of Food for the Hungry, churches from the United States come to impoverished communities and see the overwhelming physical and spiritual needs of children and families. Often, these churches decide to partner with Food for the Hungry in helping community members solve their problems and realize their potential as individuals made in the image of God. The details and strategies of the A242 initiative are in place. However, much of what is needed to get this project off the ground is funding. Recently, a church in Iowa visited Mucodza to assess the situation there and discern how they might be able to help. The feedback is poitive, and knowing that churches in America can have a tremendous impact in the lives of many people in Mozambique, Food for the Hungry is calling on more
under the leadership of pastor tomas zefanias, the church strengthening program in Mozambique brings together many pastors from different denominations and traditions.
by building relationships with the local pastors and community leaders. Currently called A242 (Acts 2:42), this exciting project is scheduled to launch in the spring with a vision to train and equip church leaders with biblical principles so that they can effectively address the physical and spiritual needs of the people in their communities. The launching pad for this new initiative is the town of Mucodza, in Mozambique’s district of Gorongosa. Situated at the foot of a large mountain that is believed to host powerful spirits, a shadow of spiritual darkness looms over the verdant
churches to reach out to communities like Mucodza and help children and families build a new life – a life not controlled by fear of ancestral spirits, past hurts and poverty, but a life made rich by the transforming love of God.
Looking Forward, Staying Focused
2008 promises a new level of ministry and influence for the leadership and staff of Food for the Hungry in Mozambique. In July 2008, FH Mozambique will start a food security program in Cabo Delgado, the country’s northernmost province.According to Adriaan Korevaar, Food for the Hungry country director for
WINTER 2008 29
Food for the Hungry provides AIDS prevention education, regular visits and compassionate care and assistance to people living with HIV/AIDS, AIDS orphans and vulnerable children.
30 WINTER 2008
[ MOZAMBIQUE ON THE VERGE ]
Adriaan Korevaar, Food for the Hungry/Mozambique country director, braces for the new challenges and opportunities that expansion brings.
Mozambique, the focus will be on nutrition, health, education, water and sanitation, leadership development, and agriculture production and marketing. “The challenge we have taken on is to develop this program in a true holistic way from the start. Incorporating what we know about truths and lies that govern the lives of many, and being creative about how we can bring about change from and towards a godly perspective. The fact that the population is predominantly non-Christian does pose specific challenges to the way we design and communicate the development messages,” says Korevaar. When asked about the rationale behind the program shift, Korevaar explains:“The intention is expansion, not to divide the pie. We would like to invest in communities that are politically, ethnically and spiritually opposites. Investing there will help us to apply what we have learned in Sofala and give us an opportunity to breed cross-learning within the country.” Korevaar adds that although Cabo Delgado is a predominantly Muslim province, Food for the Hungry is very much welcome there. “One of our assignments is to discover the strengths and resources of this community and see how we can work with these as building blocks that we can use in the development of this community.” In the districts in Sofala, one building block that Korevaar cites is the growing apprehension of community members about the issues that confront their young people. In communities where Food for the Hungry implements an AIDS awareness
and prevention program targeting the youth, parents and elders are expressing concern that their young children and teenagers are becoming more and more vulnerable to sexual harassment, prostitution and rape. And they are thankful that Food for the Hungry is intervening to prevent many problems by promoting abstinence and marital faithfulness. “I think there is truth in this community because there is a recognition of the value of faithfulness, and to me that is a building block that we can use to uncover the lies that hinder people from progressing,” Korevaar says. “We need to know how to target our message in such a way that we actually transform their reality.” Korevaar understands that going into another area, especially a non-Christian population such as Cabo Delgado, presents many challenges. “We have to think about how to prepare the ground because it is much more than a physical exercise that we’re doing when we go in there,” he says. One of the strategies, which is true for all programs in Mozambique, is to recruit more appropriate staff who will be better messengers of transformation, says Korevaar. Another approach, he adds, is to link up with churches and other ministries and work alongside them in a more complementary way. “And we will address the physical issues with a much more intentional understanding of the lies that we are aiming to unlock and the biblical truths that we are trying to transmit, and make sure that it’s coming through in every program that we do in the community,” Korevaar explains. 9
bob (left), an avid gol fer, has participated in five of the six annual golf events ben efiting the poor in cou ntries where Food for the Hungry ser ves.
and his wife,
Kingdom that really Itâ€™s what he does now for Godâ€™s Dardinger. matters for ministry partner Bob By Sheli Cowley
32 WINTER 2008
As followers of Christ, we do not have the assurance that we will be shielded from trials and challenges. On the contrary, we are called to share in His sufferings. Out of life’s many challenges, God shapes and conforms us to Christ-likeness. He takes our experiences and as we walk by faith, He deepens our understanding, strengthens our character and builds hope (Romans 5:3-4). Robert Dardinger has faced many challenges throughout his life. Born and raised in Ohio, Robert and his twin brother, Richard, grew up loving sports, especially football. In 1966, when it was time to decide which college to choose, both Robert and Rick signed with Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. Robert majored in social studies and was a linebacker for the team, while Rick played center and was planning to join the Navy. After a few years of playing football, Robert married Esther Simmons and continued to finish his studies at Marshall. His brother, Rick, stayed on the team. Then came the fateful night – November 14, 1970 – when the plane that held Rick Dardinger and 74 other players, coaches and leaders from the Huntington area, crashed and burned while making its final descent into Huntington. There were no survivors. “It was over before we even knew about it.” Robert recalls. Robert went on to complete his master’s degree in education and then began teaching in Ohio at Johnstown High School. He spent 28 years teaching and coaching football, basketball, baseball, softball and golf – sometimes up to three sports a year! Bob and Esther had three children and their lives were full. Then, cancer slowly began to consume his family. His mother died in 1980 and, in 1995, Esther received word she had brain cancer. In the midst of helping Esther fight the ravages of cancer, Robert also battled with the health insurance companies to get proper treatment for Esther. Esther fought the cancer with insufficient treatment for nearly three years before it took her life. Dealing with so much tragedy can either jade your heart towards God or it can soften it to be molded by Him for His purpose and glory. For Robert, it has been the latter. “It has put my life in a different perspective. Before my wife got sick, we always talked about what we were going to do. You learn sometimes that what you’re going to do doesn’t mean anything. It’s what you do now that matters.” With his transformed way of viewing life in the here and now, Robert took his father on a cross country trip in August of 1999. When they arrived back home in September, Robert experienced tragedy
once more as his father was diagnosed with cancer and then passed away in December of the same year. It was in 1995 when Robert first learned about Food for the Hungry. As he got to know more about the ministry and how Food for the Hungry works in communities, Robert caught the vision and felt called to “do his part now” in ending physical and spiritual hungers worldwide. Several years later, he was introduced to Jack DeGrenier, director of Food for the Hungry’s annual golf event, which began in 2001. At any mention of the word golf, you immediately have Robert’s attention. He is an avid golfer, and has participated in five of the six annual golf events. But don’t count that one miss against him; he was on his honeymoon with his new wife Dianna. When asked why he keeps coming back to the golf event, Robert states, “Arizona is a great place to be in the spring, the golf courses are excellent and the camaraderie of playing with others is wonderful.” He shares that his favorite experience from all the events was the clinic in 2007 with PGA Professional Scott Simpson. But Robert goes on to say, “All those things are like icing on the cake when you consider the cause of sharing the love of Christ with the poor around the world. It is a win-win for me, because I get to play a game I enjoy and at the same time support a cause I believe deeply in.” Because of his experiences, Robert can identify with the challenges faced by many poor children and families in seemingly hopeless circumstances. He sees transformation in communities where Food for the Hungry works and recognizes the hand of the Father. And in no small way, even though they are thousands of miles away, Robert, through his partnership with Food for the Hungry, provides care and comfort to those in trouble as he has also received from God (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
WINTER 2008 33
Fort Worth Businessman and Food for the Hungry ministry partner Bill Harvey seizes the moment to benefit 3,600 children waiting for sponsors. By Greg Forney Bill Harvey’s trip to Som alia opened his eyes to the extreme poverty in Africa. Harvey is pictured on far right.
“But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” (Ephesians 4:7) When Nehemiah first learned about the broken walls in Jerusalem, he was distressed, so much so that he “…sat down and wept and mourned for days (Nehemiah 1:4).” Nehemiah could have wallowed in his grief, accepting the fate that Jerusalem was left unprotected and unsafe. Instead, he took action. God gave him the vision and strength to lead others to rebuild the walls and restore Jerusalem. Nehemiah was a leader. He had God-given abilities that allowed him to look beyond the rubble and ruins and see restoration. And he had the faith and fortitude to lead and inspire others to join him. The Scriptures are filled with men and women of vision and faith that God uses to accomplish His purpose. Many of them, like Nehemiah, could be described as visionaries, leaders who faithfully and passionately move forward when many stand pat or retreat. By faith, they are able to seize the unknown and glimpse ahead at the
possibilities. David was one, facing a giant who mocked the God of Israel. Abram was one, leaving his home, his possessions and even his name behind to go to an unknown land. And there are many today, in all walks of life, that God uses to see healing where there is hunger, to see openings in the tiniest of cracks and to move forward with action. Bill Harvey is such a man. In the late 1980s, when he was made aware of the famine-like conditions in Ethiopia by Food for the Hungry, he felt compelled to do something. It was years earlier, on a safari hunting trip, that Harvey observed firsthand the extreme poverty in Africa. “Because of that experience, I have deep feelings toward those living in poor conditions,” states Harvey. He took action. After Harvey made a few calls, the Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives and the Texas Secretary of Agriculture approved the release of surplus Texas wheat, which Food for the Hungry shipped to Ethiopia, with Harvey paying for the shipping costs. As Harvey shares the account, he does so nonchalantly, and simply says, “It seemed the right thing to do.” Seizing such opportunities had become natural for Harvey, a Georgia native who landed in Fort Worth in 1959. After a short stint selling insurance, he started working for a real estate loan company. As he gained experience, Harvey developed the ability to see possibilities. For instance, he looked at the empty stretch of land between Dallas and Fort Worth and saw growth and opportunity. He saw that land one day being filled with homes, stores and other development projects. Little did he know at the time that God had a vision for those properties that would bless others. Harvey later donated part of this land to build the Federal Bureau of Printing and Engraving plant in Fort Worth, a plant which currently employs more than 400 people. And most recently, he sold a plot of land to bless thousands of children around the world. taking a break from the busyness of life, Havey delights at the sight of a big catch.
34 WINTER WINTER 2008 2008 34
[ VISION PARTNERS ]
As Harvey developed his business in the Dallas/ Fort Worth area, other opportunities presented themselves. He was part of a small group that started the now-defunct ABA Dallas Chaparrals. Interestingly, the Dallas Chaparrals would later become the San Antonio Spurs, the reigning NBA champions. Also, in 1973, Harvey led the charge with fellow investor Brad Corbett and rounded up a small group of partners in a buzzer-beating campaign to buy the Texas Rangers in order to keep them in Texas. Harvey describes the “midnight deal” in a casual, humble manner, as if it was something anyone would do—a few phone calls, rallying of friends, raising funds, done deal. Harvey’s life is rich with moments of making the most of every opportunity. He is the first to deflect praise and downplay his role. His ability to see opportunities that others don’t seem to notice and act upon them is God-given, and he is careful to give the glory to the Father. One such opportunity presented itself in October 2007. Harvey, a close supporter and partner of Food for the Hungry, learned about a situation,and it bothered him. Food for the Hungry’s Child Development Program was expanding in order to meet the evergrowing needs of children in several communities. These children – 3,600 in total – were in need of sponsors, people in the states who would provide monthly support to help Food for the Hungry walk alongside them, their families and their communities to bring hope and transformation. Harvey saw the need and, once again, took action. It was one of his property investments that provided the means for him to support these 3,600 children for the next year as
they wait for sponsors. “I was considering selling the property anyway, and when I learned about the need, it was God confirming it to me,” states Harvey. Harvey’s generous gift allows Food for the Hungry to walk alongside these children and their families in order to provide physical and spiritual transformation. Food for the Hungry President and Chief Executive Officer Benjamin Homan reflects on Bill and Reba Harvey’s powerful act of love: “When I think about the Lord Jesus, I think about Him as a lover of children. And, now as I think about the thousands of children around the world that Bill and Reba have touched and are touching through their love, I know that they have helped them grasp the amazing love of a heavenly Father who beckons children to come to Him.” Harvey’s story is a reminder that God works in and through His children to accomplish His will, for His glory. In Harvey’s case, God used hunting trips to soften his heart for the poor. And He used Harvey’s relationships to provide opportunities to ship wheat to hungry children and families in Africa. Harvey sees opportunities to make a difference, and he responds, just as Paul instructs the believers in Ephesians 5:15-16, “Therefore, be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.” 9
Clockwise from above: Children in Bolivia, Rwanda and the Philippines give thanks to Bill and Reba Harvey.
WINTER 2008 35
Non-monetary gifts, when properly mobilized and distributed in Christâ€™s name, can bring real transformation to individuals and communities in need.
By Dana Ryan
ator, respectively, and program administr. or ct re di , sh ar itm Liz Wh rtment Andrew Crawford and Food for the Hungryâ€™s GIK Resources depa of
36 WINTER 2008
Living in the land of plenty can bring an element of guilt when so many others live in poverty. However, if you ask the Gifts-in-Kind Resources (GIK) department of Food for the Hungry, they will argue that abundance should instead result in generosity. The GIK department value of the non-cash knows a lot about gifts. How is that possible? abundance and generosity: Crawford explains, “If we they regularly receive receive 100 hospital beds donated products worth worth $100,000, and it millions of dollars. These costs us $5,000 to transport non-cash items range the beds overseas, then from educational supplies every $1 of cash given to medicine and medical essentially becomes $20 of equipment, and are commodities shipped to shipped and distributed the field and distributed to impoverished to the world’s poor.” In communities as a reflection short, gifts in kind allow Gifts awaiting shipment will be of God’s abundant love for much more tangible transported, thanks to generous donors. to the poor around the help than could be made world. available with cash alone. “Given by itself, GIK has the potential to adequately meet a person’s basic, temporal needs. Combining Work and Faith However, given in Christ’s name, such gifts can Moving commodities overseas involves a lot become the means by which God transforms a of paperwork – and faith. Liz Whitmarsh, GIK person’s life!” says Andrew Crawford, director of Resources program administrator, collects and GIK Resources. reviews all the documentation and paperwork for To locate donations, Crawford says, “We often each shipment, making sure to comply with each find ourselves going down bunny trails pursuing country’s rules and regulations. Then she tracks the leads. We don’t know where many of these trails shipment at each stage. will take us, but God does.” “There are a lot of different stages that each Food for the Hungry also works with other shipment has to go through – from actually leaving nongovernmental organizations that have similar the warehouse to getting to Nicaragua or Malawi or ministry components. They provide Food for the wherever it’s going in the world,” says Whitmarsh. Hungry with links to product donors and also share But despite good documentation and careful surplus donations that they receive. planning, some surprises could still arise. Just because products are donated does not “Governments overseas can change very quickly mean there are no associated costs. In partnership – sometimes overnight, and so can their warmth with storage and transportation services, Food for toward receiving donations of humanitarian aid for the Hungry efficiently handles the commodities service organizations in their country,” Crawford and ships them to the communities that need them explains. “Instead of us finding favor with local most. Cash gifts from individual donors make customs officials, a container we ship could be possible the shipment of the goods to many of the detained indefinitely, or the contents confiscated poorest countries in the developing world. without notice. And if it is held, we could find Cash donations given to transport commodities ourselves faced with having to pay mounting make a good investment because of the high leverage detention charges.”
WINTER 2008 37
GIK sends much-needed medical supplies around the world.
“There’s a lot of faith involved at times when we put a container of GIK on the water, bound for another part of the world,” Crawford adds.
A More Focused Vision
Over the past 36 years of Food for the Hungry’s ministry, the GIK department has shipped huge volumes of donated goods that included dehydrated food, bulldozers, cement mixers, table saws, playground equipment, dried beans, furniture, hospital beds, dialysis machines, bandages, and pharmaceuticals. However, GIK is sharpening its focus to ensure maximum effectiveness in serving the poor and needy. “We would rather focus on acquiring and shipping a few high-impact commodity types rather than pursuing donations of every kind and achieving mediocre results,” Crawford says. “We’re trying to be proactive now, and learning which commodities have the highest mission match by asking our field staff, ‘What is your God-given vision? What has God put in your heart to do? And how can we serve and support you in making that vision become a reality?’” In return, GIK is able to respond in a relevant way by finding a supplier base to support that vision. “If the relevancy of our donation is high, the ministry impact and transformational potential are also high…and that’s exactly what we desire,” Crawford explains. As a result of input from the field staff, GIK is purposely limiting the kinds of goods it will ship this year to five key product categories:pharmaceuticals,medical supplies,medical equipment,
38 WINTER 2008
relief supplies and educational supplies. Pharmaceuticals and educational supplies sit at the top of the list because they are needed everywhere in the world. In many countries where Food for the Hungry works, medicine is too expensive to buy in large quantities We would rather focus and school supplies on acquiring and shipping are hard to find. a few high impact And when commodities rather than calamities str ike, pursuing donations of diseases can flourish every kind and achieving and people mediocre results. often lose what little resources they may have. For example, the recent earthquake in Peru leveled 27 schools to the ground, destroying all school supplies and student records. In response to God’s call to Food for the Hungry to help end physical and spiritual poverty, the GIK department aims to help address poverty of all kinds.When GIK procures and ships commodities across oceans, it sends hope as well. It sends God’s love to dark, broken places – thanks to generous donors who understand that those who have been entrusted with much have a responsibility to generously share with those in need. 9
[ MINISTRY HIGHLIGHTS ]
deworming the world one child at a time According to the World Health Organization, approximately onethird of the world’s population – or 2 billion people – suffer from diseases and developmental issues caused by intestinal parasites. Food for the Hungry’s Gifts-in-Kind (GIK) Resources department is responding to this problem by providing deworming medicine to children and their families in high-risk countries. “We’re doing a disservice to our future if we don’t tackle the problem of intestinal parasites in children today,” says Andrew Crawford, director of GIK Resources at Food for the Hungry. “You want to see children enjoying good health, developing physically and cognitively, and growing up with things going in their favor because that’s going to result in a positive impact on their families, their communities, and eventually their country’s economy.” Many people with intestinal parasites do not know how they became infected. They are also not aware of the options for treatment and methods of prevention. In Peru, where Food for the Hungry serves, an effective way of educating families is through a “Parasite Museum,” an information center where members of the community can see for themselves what makes them sick and why. They learn to make behavioral changes like washing hands and wearing shoes. An ultraviolet light is used to show microbes on unwashed hands, and staff members use the analogy to talk about the need for people’s hearts to be cleansed from sin. “It’s very holistic,” says Crawford, “caring for the body through the medicine; caring for the mind through education; and caring for the soul through the presentation of the Gospel.” Through the GIK Resources department, Food for the Hungry sends deworming medicine to many high-risk countries. While this medicine can sometimes be readily obtained in countries where Food for the Hungry serves, it is often much cheaper for GIK to purchase and ship. “For us to acquire the medicine and ship it to another country may only cost a total of five cents for a year’s worth of treatment for one person,” says Crawford. “But in Peru, for example, that same treatment might cost up to 72 cents, and in the Philippines it climbs to almost $3 per person per year.” Asked how Food for the Hungry gets the medicine at such a reduced cost, Crawford explains: “Negotiations with global manufacturers have resulted in lower procurement costs and fees for the medicine. Because of this we have a great opportunity to relieve our Food for the Hungry staff from the burden of having to purchase the medicine at retail. And then we are able to ship it to our fields at no cost - thanks to generous donors here in the United States.” As a result, many more children in communities around the world where Food for the Hungry works can receive proper treatment for intestinal parasites. “It’s a great way for us to serve our fields and the people they reach out to every day,” says Crawford. (Dana Ryan)
we're doing a disservice to our future if we don't tackle the problem of intestinal parasites in children today.
Children are particularly susceptiable to intestinal parasites, which cause a number of health problems affecting their physical and mental development.
WINTER 2008 39
Published on Oct 22, 2008
6:8 is a quarterly magazine of Food for the Hungry that highlights stories of physical and spiritual transformation through the grace of God...